Question:

Hello,

I was reading one of your Q&A's and a question came to mind about I Corinthians 5:9-11, "I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person."

If we should not be around these kinds of people does this mean we have to shun our families and friends we have made in the past? Ever since I have been born again, this person of God that I have become is very important to me and the reality that almost everyone around me is going to hell and is missing out on God's grace is hurting my heart in the deepest ways, so I make it a big point in my life to witness to everyone close to me and even some who are not. Only a few I have been successful with and most I have got "not yet". I am still working on some people, but I can see my words that God gives me is working on their hearts making them "think". And I don't know which exact persons will eventually repent and have a change of heart but talking about God when eating or hanging out at one others house seems to be the best way for me to help spread the good news. Is this wrong? Even if the conversations with them about God and the good news is not constant but comes up gradually since I feel like I have to work with every person in a way that is more suited to their attitude so I don't run them off?


Answer:

You skipped over "Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world" (I Corinthians 5:10). Paul said that we are to withdraw from brethren who live worldly lives. We have to interact with worldly people in order to teach them the gospel.

"And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" When Jesus heard that, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance"" (Matthew 9:11-13).